Saturday, 28 April 2012

... Jordan: Wanderlusted

It's a little unnerving when, at 39,000 ft the flight attendants of an Airbus A340-600  are running along the aisle and there are alarms going off left, right and centre. That was fun let me tell you and woke me from my bum-numbed-stiff-necked slumber. Thankfully we are still cruising at 39,000 ft at over 500mph and are just over an hour away from Vancouver. It would appear some idiot thought it was OK to SMOKE on the plane and that is what set off a bunch of alarms. In that persons weak & utterly feeble defense, the toilets that are situated downstairs, yes downstairs, have an area with a bunch of bloody ashtrays. Still, I for one didn't fancy having to make an emergency landing thanks to some complete idiot somewhere between Calgary & Edmonton. And unsurprisingly we weren't asked to go outside and stand on the wings.

The journey from Aqaba to Amman was pretty chilled. It ended up taking about 5hrs and whilst everyone else appeared to fall asleep I admired the desert scenery one last time whilst blasting some choonage through my headphones. There wasn't a cloud in the sky and I embraced the fact I was looking up at an enormous yellow ball in the sky, because I know that cloud & rain awaits me in Vancouver. Jordan's highways are in pretty good shape, although the same can't be said about some of the drivers nor their vehicles. There is also a scary tendency for some people to drive at night without their headlights on because there is an insane belief that they can see better!? With that in mind, I was pretty glad to be driving during daylight. Traffic police are everywhere speed-trapping and apparently give out hefty fines even if you're only as much as 10% over the speed limit. One might say it was a blessing in disguise that someone else was driving. *cough*

Upon arrival into Amman, my radar finally homed in on a Starbucks! They truly are everywhere, except Frankfurt International Airport of course. Alas I didn't get to visit but I was more than happy to forgo a java in order to head out for some Jordanian food for my last dinner in Jordan. Food is a very important aspect of Jordanian culture and it is often treated as a time of celebration. As one of the largest producers of olives in the world, olive oil is used a lot in Jordanian cuisine. Typical flavours include herbs, garlic, spices, onion, tomato sauce and lemon and food ranges from being extremely hot & spicy to mild. The most dominant style of eating in Jordan is a small plate, salad, appetizer, community style eating, aided by dipping, dunking and otherwise scooping with bread. Known as Mezze, it is typically done before larger main dishes although, trust me, this can be a meal in itself.

Tawaheen al-Hawa is a Jordanian restaurant in Amman. I had been told that this was a good authentic place to eat and seeing as the cliental is mostly Jordanian I figured that I was being steered in the right direction. And oh my - the food was top notch and I didn't even touch the meat dishes. Rich creamy hummus, babba ghanoush (eggplant), foul maddamis (fava beans), zetun (olives),  haloumi (cheese), pickled vegetables, tabouleh dipped, dunked & scooped with Jordanian breads khubz & shrak. All washed down with a refreshing lemon-mint drink. Delish! I think I waddled out of the restaurant at the end of the evening.

And then it was a quick 60 minute nap before being whizzed off to the airport to catch my unGodly houred first flight. You have got to love an airport that has you sprinting through it for a last boarding call announcement. Not only was this announcement an hour before we were scheduled to leave but the plane wasn't even there. Not quite sure about the thought process behind that especially when we ended up leaving an hour late. Needless to say by the time I boarded my 2nd flight in Frankfurt after a +6hr layover I was exhausted beyond belief. Naturally I also looked absolutely gorgeous. *cough*  I know socks with sandals are a fashion fail but my excuse was I had a 10+hr flight ahead. And anyway, at least they were funky polka dot ones!

As we begin our descent into Vancouver, a feeling of excitement washes over me. Yeah, it is always good to come home and I'm certain two four-legged kids will be as pleased to have me back as I am to see them.

Another itch successfully scratched.

- Posted Using BlogPress from Nic's iPad

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